THE PREPHYLLOXERA VINEYARD

The history of our Viticulture

In the vineyards of Cavanera Etna Estate there is a rare and precious treasure. The oldest part of this wonderland vineyard lays along the profile of the erupted lava, with plants characterized by extraordinary shape, size and vitality. They distinguish themselves from all others by the growing of the trunk, often evolved into concentric circles, spirals and twisted arms. Creatures that Time has forged, bringing them to us full of history and yet vital, tough, full of fruits. They are rootstock less, some of them have been planted before the Phylloxera in the early twentieth century. They are extraordinary plants.

They’re Prephylloxera. They are not just vines, plants, but the bold sculptures of nature, in which it is still alive the atavistic memory of those who planted them, a real open-air museum, where it is possible to tell the history of Etna viticulture. It is very difficult to sharply date them, since the vine wood uses to crumble along the years; we know they are rootstock less and, certainly , some of these plants date back to the time when the Phylloxera was not endemic to Mount Etna yet and rootstock less vines were commonly used. To study them closely is a unique privilege , there is not only the history of viticulture and Mediterranean oenology, there’s more: an inexhaustible source of information about the evolution of the climate, of the vintages, of what the individual plant has seen and experienced. For these specific reasons, the Department of Agricultural Sciences , University of Palermo, and the National Research Council will both keep them under observation. The first has dated them confirming they’re there before the phylloxera stuck. To protect and to keep them productive is Firriato’s most sacred and sincere commitment. But this was not enough for us: from these unique , beautiful and rare plants, the grafts for the replantation are drawn, again rootstock less, keeping intact the genetic transmission of the mother plant. We show them to you, here they are, look at them in all their beauty .